By PATRICK HALL
The Wilson Post
Thanks to the Leap Year, Wilson County residents have an extra day to pay city and county property taxes, as they are due on Wednesday, Feb. 29, and this year also includes Mt. Juliet residents who are paying a city property tax for the first time since 1999.
The Leap Year gives taxpayers an extra day to pay their taxes, which are always due on the last day of February, said Wilson County Trustee Jim Major.
At this point in time, Major noted that about 90 percent of property taxes have been collected. He encouraged everyone to come in by Wednesday to pay in order to avoid a penalty.
Wilson County has a property tax rate of $2.50 per $100 of assessed property value. Lebanons property tax rate is 34 cents and Watertown has a property tax rate of 95 cents per $100 of assessed value.
Mt. Juliet Finance Director John Rossmaier noted that Mt. Juliets property tax of 20 cents per $100 of assessed value is also due on Wednesday. The property tax rate was set in July 2011, changing the citys rate from zero, and all of the money will be dedicated toward Emergency Services.
Rossmaier said his office has not received many questions about paying the tax, but noted there has been confusion.
Theyre always surprised that they have to pay county and city taxes, Rossmaier said of some Mt. Juliet residents.
Property owners in Mt. Juliet may pay their property taxes at the same building where city sewer bills are paid, located at 2365 N. Mt. Juliet Road, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. He also noted they can leave their payments in the night drop box, or mail them to the same address.
In Lebanon, residents can make their property tax payments at the City of Lebanon Administration Building at 200 N. Castle Heights Ave., from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Wednesday.
Taxpayers in Watertown may pay their property taxes at Watertown City Hall located at 8630 Sparta Pike, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Wednesday.
Currently, the largest taxpayer in the county is Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation, followed by the Nashville Superspeedway, which is now vacant. MTEMC pays $1,231,903 in property taxes while the speedway generates $931,302.
Major said he will be turning in all 2010 property taxes that were collected to the Wilson County Clerk and Masters office on March 15. He said the Trustees office has to keep 2011 property taxes until March 2013 before turning them into the Clerk and Master.
By law, we have to keep taxes in our office for one year, Major said.
Anyone who may need tax assistance is encouraged to visit Major before the Feb. 29 deadline. He said individuals 65 years and older, with an income less than $26,800 are eligible for tax relief. Also, the Trustees Office has been providing those individuals with an extra $100 for the past three years.
Our tax relief program for the elderly is a very important thing, he said, adding that $100 means a lot for these people.
While property taxes are due on Wednesday, local officials said waiting until the last minute will most likely mean spending a long time waiting as everyone comes in to pay on the last day.
Everybody has been coming in today, said Staci Williams with the City of Lebanon Finance Department, Theyve learned not to wait until the last day or theyll be in long lines.
Top 10 Taxpayers for 2011Middle Tennessee Electric $1,231,903 Nashville Superspeedway $931,302 DCT Eastgate, LP $748, 670 University Medical Center $694,844 Cracker Barrel $369,890 Lochinvar, LLC $355,722 Texas Eastern Transmission $316,682 Tennessee Services Corp. $270,214 Deerfield Apartments at Providence $263,727 Nashville Industrial, LLC $248,384
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at email@example.com.